In the vein of Blazing Angels and Battlestations, Heroes Over Europe takes to the skies as an incredibly fun, arcade-style (dog) flight simulation.
WW II-themed arcade flight-combat games are nothing new; this console generation has already dive-bombed us with two entries each in the Blazing Angels and Battlestations series.
Heroes Over Europe - sequel to last gen's Heroes of the Pacific - offers armchair aces yet another reason to climb back into the cockpit, provided you already have a love for the genre. It's got plenty of missions, authentic aircraft and engaging gameplay; unfortunately, it isn't anything you haven't already seen in any of the other titles.
Heroes Over Europe: Whites Of Their Eyes
Thankfully, Heroes does differentiate itself a bit with its FPS-like "Ace Kill" system; this fun feature allows dead-eyes to slow down time and target specific parts of their enemies. So, with a little skill and some breath-holding, you might be able to tear off a wing, explode an engine, or get really personal and plug the pilot. While this mechanic might seem more at home in a head shot-happy shooter, it works well here, injecting a bit more adrenaline into the gameplay.
Additionally, an end-of-mission stat screen tracks these precise hits, among other things, ensuring more determined flying aces take the time to score these more creative kills rather than just unleashing a barrage of hot lead from afar. It's a nice little incentive to actually hone your skills rather than go the spray-and-pray route.
Heroes Over Europe: On Your Six
On top of nailing the arcadey combat, Heroes immerses players into a rich visual presentation, complemented by excellent production values. Flying into the smoke and debris of an enemy you just fried never gets old, and taking in the beautiful scenery will occasionally make you forget you've got a pissed off German pilot on your tail. Whether you're making a pass by Big Ben or just taking in the snow covered serenity of the French Alps, the eye candy is plentiful and varied.
There's also a multiplayer mode that I wasn't able to try due to the fact that multiplayer servers weren't up and running but I can easily see it adding a nice layer to the overall experience. The tight controls and Ace Kills mechanic are sure to translate well to the online experience.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>